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Old 10-11-2015, 04:50 PM   #1
cyberdome
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Smile What is Bitcoin? What does it do?


Hello World,

Can someone tell what the heck is this Bitcoin and why in the world is this Bitcoin thing getting so popular?

Will this take over our current currency system?

Thanks in advance
 
Old 10-11-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
Randicus Draco Albus
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This is a case where a few seconds with a search engine can provide an amount of information it will take days to get in a forum thread.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 08:10 PM   #3
Smokey_justme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberdome View Post
Hello World,

Can someone tell what the heck is this Bitcoin and why in the world is this Bitcoin thing getting so popular?

Will this take over our current currency system?

Thanks in advance
It a virtual currency that is totally transparent, yet anonymous and secure, and not regulated by any state or bank... That pretty much sums what it is and why it has gotten so popular..
But Randicus is right.. You should really do a search since there is a lot of clear and informative articles out there (and a lot of biased ones, too).. On the forums you'll mostly either find enthusiasts or critics each telling you why it will take over the world or why it will fail in the next few years..
 
Old 10-11-2015, 08:33 PM   #4
metaschima
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I would say that telling someone to "google it" in this case is not the right thing to do. You can google it, but you probably still won't understand what bitcoin is.

Plenty of threads about it yes, plenty of controversy as well.

I'm just gonna list some facts about bitcoin, and you should try to see if it all makes sense to you.
1) Bitcoin is built upon cryptography and computing power.
2) Bitcoins are mined by powerful computing clusters that solve computationally difficult problems.
3) Bitcoins are stored in your personal encrypted wallet (public key cryptography).
4) Transactions are logged with your wallet ID. This does not include your name, so it is technically anonymous.
5) The FBI owns the largest number of bitcoins after confiscating it from Silk Road (Tor-based narcotics black market) owner.
6) Bitcoins are totally unregulated and do not abide by any conventional definition of currency.
7) Just a few years ago the Mt Gox bitcoin exchange experienced massive fraud/theft of bitcoins. Users lost $473 million.

Play the game if you want, I'd rather buy a lottery ticket.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 08:49 PM   #5
frankbell
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This article from Linux Voice should help: http://www.linuxvoice.com/bitcoin/

Bitcoins are a mug's game.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 11:02 PM   #6
syg00
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The banks in Australia have shut down all the accounts of bitcoin companies. And the tax department is now tracking all transactions.
Bad combination.

It is (very) likely the blockchain technology behind it will soon be incorporated into "normal" banking transactions.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 11:22 PM   #7
metaschima
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I suppose you could build specific hardware to mine bitcoins and make yourself a lot of money, that is if the someone doesn't steal the bitcoins first.

If you're good at cryptography, you could try to find a preimage of SHA256. No preimage attack exists for full round sha1, so good luck with that. But if you do it, you're in the money.

Last edited by metaschima; 10-11-2015 at 11:25 PM.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 11:24 PM   #8
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaschima View Post
I would say that telling someone to "google it" in this case is not the right thing to do. You can google it, but you probably still won't understand what bitcoin is.
Really? I entered "bitcoin" into a search engine and the first results were bitcoin.org and bitcoin.com, followed by a wikipaedia entry for those who consider encyclopaediae sources of information. The bitcoin.org site has a wonderfully detailed FAQ section. As I stated earlier, more information than a thread will provide over several days.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 11:26 PM   #9
frankbell
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What you will pay for the electricity will likely be more than you can mine in Bitcoins.

A web search for "bitcoin mining costs" can be quite revealing, once you dig past the hype.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 11:36 PM   #10
metaschima
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Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
What you will pay for the electricity will likely be more than you can mine in Bitcoins.

A web search for "bitcoin mining costs" can be quite revealing, once you dig past the hype.
Yeah, but I'm saying specially designed hardware. You design and build hardware to specifically hash sha256. This will likely increase efficiency by orders of magnitude. Still lots of money to invest, and you never know if it will be worth it.
 
Old 10-11-2015, 11:52 PM   #11
frankbell
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That specially designed hardware costs big bucks.

Bitcoin is designed to appeal to folks who think that, if it happens online, it's somehow inherently better. Well, it's not. Being electronic bears no inherent virtue.

I will be blunt.

Bitcoin is a fiat currency, just like any other currency, including gold (gold is valuable only because persons think gold is valuable). Like any fiat currency, Bitcoins are only good if folks believe that they are good.

When it comes to currency, there is no such thing as "intrinsic value." There is only good faith. AFAIC, "good faith" is not inherent in Bitcoins.

Bitcoins are a mug's game.

Last edited by frankbell; 10-12-2015 at 12:08 AM. Reason: clarity
 
Old 10-12-2015, 06:45 AM   #12
jens
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Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
What you will pay for the electricity will likely be more than you can mine in Bitcoins.
I 've made 1.9 Euro profit in a month (1.9 being the highest so far, it's usually below 0.5) with an old Raspberry Pi
Useless ... but a fun project to do with kids and a Pi.

Last edited by jens; 10-12-2015 at 06:48 AM.
 
Old 10-12-2015, 10:10 AM   #13
sundialsvcs
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In essence, Bitcoin is a peculiar form of "scrip." As such, it is not illegal. ("Barter exchanges" use similar tokens of exchange, although they are merely printed on paper.)

In my opinion, Bitcoin is mostly a clever, nerdy twist on "get rich quick." It is, however, a re-play of a stratagem that is old as the hills. When the California Gold Rush was in full swing, who made the most money? Uh huh ... hardware store owners (like Leland Stanford), photographers, prostitutes , and anyone who could sell (or steal) a horse. In like manner, who's making the most money from Bitcoin? The folks who will sell you very expensive hardware ... for dollars only, please.

People imagine that money must be "rare," when the exact opposite is true. What did the miners use for exchange among themselves in the mining camps? Yep ... they used scrip. "Gold," after all, was the product, and it immediately got shipped out. Prospectors might never find their "lucky strike," but they had to eat, and they had to buy new shovels and picks (and explosives). Even though you might have more or might have less currency-units in your pocket, the system at large must always be "liquid." It must never run out of currency-units to exchange.

The biggest problem in Bitcoin is exactly the same thing that is touted as its advantage: tokens are computationally difficult to produce. But, once produced, they have many surprising technical features: they can be validated, and exchanged, and voided, without a central reference point such as a bank or Automated Clearing House (ACH), and without a vouchsafe-authority like Verisign et al.

Now, personally, what excites me about the overall technology is "those features." If we could find a way that tokens were cheap and easy(!) to produce in vast numbers, but which still had those same technological characteristics, then it would simply revolutionize the banking industry ... and currency in general. (For one thing, it would avoid billions of dollars a year in "credit card" losses.) Of course, it would no longer be "that rare, expensive nugget," but it would be able to handle actual real-world requirements for liquidity. That would be a patent very-justifiably worth billions of ... dollars.
 
Old 01-07-2016, 12:23 PM   #14
yooy
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j23HnORQXvs
this is a big thing, why is open source community so unaware of cryptocurrencies and p2p networks?
 
Old 01-07-2016, 02:24 PM   #15
jens
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Originally Posted by yooy View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j23HnORQXvs
this is a big thing, why is open source community so unaware of cryptocurrencies and p2p networks?
Because it's main idea is as old digital cryptography itself.

How is it different from other "black" networks?
My file servers have always been accessible for people I trust (even before security was an issue) without the need of ip/dns/...
 
  


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